Monday, July 7, 2014

Why We Can Share the Gospel Without Shame (Rom. 1.14-19

Scripture: Romans 1.14-19
Translation: 14Both to Greeks and Barbarians, both to smart people and stupid people I am a debtor, 15such that in this way the desire that clicks with me is to also tell the Good-News to you who are in Rome. 16For I’m not ashamed of the Good-News, because it is God’s power resulting in salvation for every believing person, both to the Jewish person first of all and to the Greek person, 17because it’s God’s righteousness is being revealed in that person from faith to faith, just as it really is written “And the righteous person will live by faith. 18For God’s fury is being revealed from Heaven on every impiety and unrighteousness of humans, those who hold down the truth with unrighteousness, 19because what is knowable about God is clear to them, because God made it clear to them.

1.      Structure
a.       I it owe to them to tell the Good-News
                                                              i.      Because I’m not ashamed of the Good News
1.      Because it is God’s power to save every believing person
a.       Because it’s God’s righteousness being revealed in that person by faith
b.      Because God’s anger is being revealed against all sin and unrighteousness done by humans, who pretend they don’t know what the truth is
                                                                                                                                      i.      It’s pretend, because what can be known about God is clear to them
1.      Because God made it clear (i.e. it really is clear)
2.      Themes
a.       Why/explanation
b.      Faith
c.       Righteousness/unrighteousness
d.      God
e.       Clarity
f.       Different social, cultural, ethnic classes
g.      Good-News/Gospel
3.      Doctrines
a.       The Gospel is God’s power in action to save anyone and everyone who will believe
b.      God is super-infinitely righteous
c.       God does get angry: as much as God takes action to save believing people, He takes action to punish and destroy unbelieving/unrighteous people

1.      Outline: Why should we feel the need and want to tell other people about Jesus without shame
a.       Because our Good-News really is good news!
b.      Because our Good-News really has the power to save believing people
                                                              i.      See part of our problem is that we don’t really believe our Good-News saves people. Either because
1.      We don’t think God will actually show up and work when we tell people
2.      We don’t think our friends, family, co-workers, fellow-students, that random guy on the bus, the girl whose name you can’t seem to remember, the barista at the coffee shop you talk to sometimes actually need saving
                                                            ii.      In response,
1.      For thinking God won’t show up, Paul makes it very clear that our Good-News and our Christian lives is all about faith, have you ever considered that perhaps sometimes God doesn’t show up, because you don’t trust Him to. Our God is all about faith. He wants us to trust Him. Our lives with Him that are based on trust, must have trust that goes all the way through every aspect of our lives. We don’t just trust God to save us, and that’s it. Paul is saying that we trust Him for everything, starting with when we became a Christian until we meet Jesus face-to-face. That includes when we tell other people about Jesus
2.      For thinking that people don’t really need saving, see the next point, but also note
a.       The very fact that we are saved ourselves, proves that people need saving. We are not so special or so broken that we are different from the rest of the world. No, as much as we needed to be saved, they need to be saved
b.      More than anything this shows we probably don’t know or understand or love or even trust God very well, so let’s see
c.       Because our Good-News really is the only way to avoid getting the punishment our sins deserve
                                                              i.      Because our God is righteous
                                                            ii.      Because our God gets angry
                                                          iii.      Because people really are rebellious and anti-God
1.      Because they could know God if they wanted to, but instead they strangle the truth God has made clear to them.
2.      In our culture some people say, I need proof that God is real, how could I ever really know there is a True God out there? And while part of our desire is to give some proof, at the end of the day, whether they realize how much they could have known or not, God will say to them when they meet Him, not “well, how could you have known I was real. After all, I didn’t give you any good ways to know.” He is going to say, “Don’t tell me you couldn’t know Me, because the truth is you wouldn’t know me.
d.      Because our Good-News really is for everyone
                                                              i.      Because anyone can trust, even cute small children, to old senile grandparents—you don’t have to work at anything to enjoy it
1.      This means that there are no barriers to knowing God and having a true and healthy relationship with Him. Also, it is one of the things that makes being a Christian so radically different than any other religion. All the other religions eventually come down to you and me doing something to make God like us, to force God to give us some eternal reward
                                                            ii.      Because there is no gender, social, cultural, ethnic, economic intellectual—any—barrier that God has imposed.
1.      And this really is good news, because if you look at the other world religions, this really is something that sets Christianity apart. For example, in most of the world religions, if you’re a woman, you’re in trouble. There is no guaranteed hope for you. In Islam and Mormonism, for example, there is no real future or guarantee or hope, because you are just not as valued or considered for saving. In fact, at the beginning of the church, pastors had to argue about whether women even had souls or not, because the culture they were in basically was saying, “No, women don’t have souls, so they can’t be saved.” But, the Gospel is great news for women, because Christians believe you really do have souls and God really does have great plans for you and great love for you. Why do you think that wherever Christianity goes, women come to God in droves, because it is only in Christianity that women will be truly loved, empowered, and accepted as full-members of the community. The only reason American culture treats women with any level of equality is because Christianity’s value system at one time reigned supreme in Western culture.
2.      Or why is it that the poor come to God so much, because only God truly values the poor, loves the poor, and doesn’t require they become rich to be a good Christian.
3.      And aren’t you glad that we don’t all have to be Einstein to become a Christian, because let’s face it, most of us are not that smart.
4.      And aren’t you glad that our Good News is not for only Koreans, or only white people, or only Jews—there’s no one you can’t tell, and there’s no requirement that we become a totally different culture, in a lot of muslim places, if you are not an arab, you’re a second rate muslim
e.       Because our Good-News really is a guaranteed salvation
                                                              i.      Because it is by faith, people who really do believe the Good-News really can expect to be saved. In our culture and in other religions there is not any absolute hope, because it is totally based on whether you were good enough. But our Good-News really is good news because it not about whether you or me are good enough, because it’s all about how good God is, that He is good enough
2.      Questions
a.       Do you want to tell other people about the Good News of Jesus? What makes you want to or not want to?
b.      Do you understand why people need to be saved? What makes it easy or hard to believe people need saving?
c.       Have you ever written somebody off as too lost, bad, or ignorant to be saved?
d.      Is your current life marked by faith in God? Does everything you do flow out of faith in Him? Why or why not?

e.       Are you comfortable with trusting in a God Who gets angry at bad things? What about a God Who has to do what is right? Is it possible those to characteristics of God are two sides of the same coin, two sides of one truth? 

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